ManLand returns for 2011 (stuff and hints for blokes)

Welcome back to Manland for 2011 [Ed's note:  Mr Styling You worked so hard for such a large salary in 2010 that I gave him two months off].

And what a time to return, with just a few days remaining to finalise your plans in the run up to the festival of romance …V Day.

At this time each year the men in your lives cop pressure from all angles as the advertising world tries to decide for them what they should be doing to woo or re-woo their lady folk in celebration of the age old lovers’ tradition.

As the editor of Manland, I am again happy to step up and represent for the other side, by making a couple of key suggestions that might help you put a little sparkle in his eye.

Tip #1 Go with tradition

The male equivalent of 12 long-stemmed red roses ...

This is the Manland version of the tried and true dozen long-stemmed red roses. Why not get him a dozen of nature’s other great creations – top shelf beers?  And take notice here, I don’t mean half a cartoon of Fourex golds or VBs, I mean the good stuff. The kind that he can put in a vase of his own (think esky) and savour.

Tip #2 Reverse gift psychology. Everybody wins

This year V Day falls on a Monday, so chances are, most of you are going to be getting your romance on this weekend. So if on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning you find yourself down at the man shops struggling to find that perfect little something for him to un-wrap, then stop where you are and change your attack. Go to the lady shops and buy yourself something little instead. When the time comes, whip it on and show him just what you bought for “him” to celebrate. Don’t worry, you’ll certainly put a smile on his face and you’ll both feel like winners.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.

And now for a few products I road tested over my summer hiatus.  Both ranges are at the high end of the male skincare market but sometimes it’s worth spending a little bit extra (well, that’s what The Stylist keeps telling me).

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Mankind range by Sodashi

I went top shelf these past holidays when I trialled products from the Sodashi Mankind range.

Every product in the Mankind range is chemical free, have never been tested on animals and made using the highest quality plant extracts and essences sourced from around the globe. They’re also packaged in unique violet glass, with light filtering properties that protect and enhance the product held within. And to cap off the eco-friendly appeal, all Sodashi boxes are printed with soy based ink on recycled card.

Sodashi Mankind products are available at leading spas in Australia, Europe, Asia, the US, Middle East and also online at www.sodashi.com. Very posh.

Clean Skin Cleanser and Shaving Emulsion $79.20 for 200ml. Completely different from other shaving creams and foams I’ve used before, this product is great for anyone with sensitive skin and suffers irritation from shaving. It’s a combined cleanser and shaving emulsion that helps to prepare the skin and hair for shaving. It contains ingredients such as white argiletz clay, lime and cypress to help remove surface impurities and excess oil and relieve pore congestion, while cedarwood and patchouli help to calm and soothe the skin.

Skin Karma Aftershave and Face Mist $63.80 for 100ml. At first I was sceptical about how a mist could really help after the grind of daily shaving, but was really impressed with the instant sooth and refreshment it brought. It contains ingredients including sandalwood, cypress, ylang ylang, juniper and rosemary to cool and calm your skin after shaving while hydrating and balancing the pH.

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VitaMan Age Control Face Masque $59.40

I think I deserve a pay rise for this ...

I embraced the Aussie Spirit a little too enthusiastically this year, and, much to the disgust of The Stylist, came off the beach with more than just a gentle glow. Fortunately I had something waiting for just such an emergency, even if it did require me to break new ground for Manland and put on a face masque!

Rather than a tub of guacamole that you smear on with a spatula, the VitaMan face masque is like a second skin that you apply to your face in one piece. With pre-cut holes for your eyes, mouth and nostrils you do look a bit creepy with it on – the kids thought I was crazier than usual – when I trotted down the hallway with it on, but I tell you what, it felt sensational on the sunburn and helped prevent any peeling. Face masques won’t be for everyone, but if you are keen, this one is worth a try.  

VitaMan is currently used and sold in 32 countries worldwide, distributing to the world’s most prestigious hotels, spas and department stores. www.vitaman.com.au

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Song of the Month

Zonoscope, the third album from one of my favourite groups Cut Copy arrived early this month and despite mixed reviews, I really like it. It’s got plenty of the classic Cut Copy sound and obvious references to Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk among others. Need You Now is the opening track and starts with a gentle crescendo that builds in energy to lead you into the rest of the album.

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